1 December 2021
Aqua La Diva M2 premium
Ever since I was aware that a new model was coming, I had been awaiting its arrival with immense anticipation. Fortunately, the M2 delivers on its promise. It is not only a successor with a different CD mechanism but indeed a wholly different player.
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Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4 premium
After the D4 range was released, the new model was said to be not only the best incarnation of the series but actually the best that Bowers & Wilkins has issued. Of course, this is more often said with the introduction of a new reference series. In order to find out, I went to hear the speakers in the SoundUnited demo room.
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Qobuz – Industry Update premium
This is an Industry Update, listing the latest Qobuz news, the most important of which probably is the new lower price point!
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Antipodes K50 Music Server – Update Nov 2021 premium
Recently, Antipodes updated the firmware to from V3.0 to V3.1 to support the upcoming changes in how Roon runs on home servers and they took this opportunity to also further streamline and enhance their User Interface. Interestingly, I also noticed significant sonic benefits with the K50!
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23 November 2021
Aqua La Diva M2 CD Transport – Industry Update premium
The new generation of La Diva, La Diva M2, is a machine that, while keeping the previous name, is completely new, both in terms of CD mechanics and all internal electronics, power supply, FPGA decoding, clock, display, and more.
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20 November 2021
Rhapsody Show – CH Precision D1.5, L10 and M10, Dohmann, and Estelon Forza premium
Friday, November 19th and Saturday 20th, Rhapsody held a show using a host of ultra-high-end equipment, showcasing the Estelon Forza loudspeakers and the CH Precision L10 Dual Monaural Twin-Chassis Line Preamplifier and M10 Twin-Chassis Power Amplifier. Also present was the brand-new CH Precision D1.5 SACD transport.
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Reference Sounds – Wilson Alexx V with Audio Research premium
Last month, I published my first experiences with the Wilson Audio Alexx V loudspeakers paired with Dan D'Agostino Momentum pre-and power amplifiers at Ducth Distributor Reference Sounds. At the end of that initial experience, I was informed that a second event was planned, showcasing the Audio Research Ref 6 SE preamplifier and Ref 160 mono power amplifiers. This is my report of this second event.
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Degritter premium
The Degritter not only cleans records very deeply, but it also makes them sound leaps and bounds better. It is a must-have for everyone who values their vinyl collection.
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10 November 2021
Lejonklou Källa Network Player premium
When Lejonklou launches a network player, you better believe that it will be anything but ordinary.
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COS D10 DAC, preamp, and network player premium
The D10 is a highly versatile control point, built in a modular fashion. As standard, it contains a preamp and DAC. Optionally, one can add a streaming input and a phono preamp. With every input that it offers, the D10 has surprised me with consistently fantastic performance.
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4 November 2021
CH Precision Releases D1.5 SACD/CD Player/Transport – Industry Update premium
With an almost identical form-factor and operational interface (as its predecessor), the D1.5 continues the established CH aesthetic, fitting in perfectly with existing and future systems. However, internally it is a completely different machine, based around our own, all-new, proprietary transport mechanism.
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22 October 2021
Grandinote Volta Network Player premium
Contrary to many similar devices that offer every conceivable input, output, and protocol, the Italian Volta does not try to be the equivalent of a Swiss army knife. Rather, it focuses on a single task that it aims to perfect.
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Reference Sounds – Wilson Alexx V with Dan D’Agostino premium
When I received an email from Michael Huigen of Dutch Distributor Reference Sounds with the subject "Invitation for the Wilson Audio Alexx V Listening Session", it only took one look at the first image to decide right away to come and listen to these magnificent beasts. In this review, I will explain all the design changes and will of course share my listening impressions.
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Dutch Audio Event 2021 – Industry Update premium
It is time to get ready for a new edition of the XFi audio show, after joining forces with HiFi.nl, now rebranded as Dutch Audio Event. The show will take place on October 30 and 31 21021 at the Koningshof in Veldhoven.
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30 September 2021
Grandinote Shinai Class-A integrated amplifier premium
It's the seemingly unachievable: a very neutral and linear, and robust amplifier that is fast, expressive and dynamic, but equally lush, liquid, and seductive. Seems unbelievable? Better believe it!
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30 September 2021
ZYX R50 Bloom3 premium
Even though I have found time and again that the marriage between a turntable, the arm, and the cartridge can make or break a performance, the Bloom3 worked just as magnificently with the AVID Sequel and Audio Origami PU-7 arm as with the Thorens TD1601 and its stock TP-92 arm.
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Aries Cerat Heléne DAC and Incito S preamp premium
When you frequently review products, and especially when the target is usually the high-end segment, true surprises are few and far between. So, it's a treat when a product comes along that truly brings something new to the table.
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27 August 2021
Jena Labs Valkyrie and Aurora XLR – Mini Review premium
The antithesis of a "filtered" sound, the Jena Labs Valkyrie and Aurora are remarkably neutral and direct-sounding cables.
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27 August 2021
Stealth Indra XLR and Cinch – Mini Review premium
Truly excellent, superbly natural, neutral, and transparent, non-sounding cables that would be my all-time favorites if it wasn't for a certain other, more affordable cable.
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Denafrips Terminator Plus premium
This DAC not only sets the standard at its retail price, but it even presents a challenge for the top-performers in the business.
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6 August 2021
AudioQuest Fire premium
Positioned 3 models above the Water in the Elements series, the Fire is not only better, it is incomparably better. The Fire is the best cable I have heard thus far!
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Driade Flow Link Reference 808 XLR and RCA premium
The Flow Link Reference 808 provides a wholly unforced, pure, and natural rendition of anything that you play. The cables have the fluidity, smoothness, and organic presentation that I have come to know from the Flow 405 speaker cables but with a new level of articulation, precision, and transparency, that fully justifies their "Reference" moniker.
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R.T.F.S. Stripe premium
The Stripe is made from the same material as the Carreau but the added benefit of the Stripe segments is that they provide precise control over the exact balance between reflection and absorption while also enabling precise tuning of the bass behavior.
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HFA Audio Setup History 31 – Secondary Setup 2018-2021 premium
Since I was content with the sound in the Main Setup, it was time to accommodate the video section to the new situation. As it would turn out, beamer issues would lead to the start of a new Secondary Audio Setup / Cinema Room.
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27 June 2021
Melody WE-2688 Signature preamp with 211 MAX mono amplifiers premium
Deviating from my normal routine, this review is carried out on location at A Tube High Fidelity where I will assess the Melody components using the famous Klipsch Klipschorn AK6 speakers.
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Pylon Audio Jasper 25 premium
With their curved enclosures and available in any RAL color, the Jasper 25 looks refreshingly different. Sonically, as well, it is far from anonymous.
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15 June 2021
AVID Pellar, Pulsus, Pellere, and Pulsare II Phono Stages premium
AVID is widely known for producing superb turntables. What's probably less well-known is that they also produce a range of phono stages. The technology and engineering involved in the turntable motor power supplies are right at the basis of their phono stages.
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8 June 2021
Mad Scientist Black Magic Ethernet Cable premium
Theoretically, since we're talking about data packets sent unrelated to a time domain, a network cable cannot affect the sound of network transfer. It either works, or it doesn't. But apparently there is more to this. The Black Magic UTP cable certainly makes this abundantly clear.
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3 June 2021
Thorens TD1601 vs AVID Diva II SP – Mini Review premium
A quick comparison between two very different turntables, done in the Ayon/Xavian system.
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Audio Technica AT33Sa premium
Ever since reviewing the Thorens TD1601 turntable, I had been thinking of fitting it with an Audio Technica AT33Sa cartridge. Now's the time to find out if it is indeed the great match that I anticipated.
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Dynavector 10X5 MkII and DV20X2 premium
A comparison between two cartridges by the same maker that, on the surface, seem to differ only in terms of coil windings and stylus shape.
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Aqua LinQ Network Interface – Part 3 – Core + NAA Module premium
The Core + NAA module marks the perfection of the LinQ as the universal and class-leading network player.
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18 May 2021
AVID Ingenium, Diva II SP, and Sequel premium
In this review, I will dive very deeply into all the aspects of three Avid Turntables, how they compare to one another, how they interact with different tonearms and cartridges, and where exactly each model excels. Be prepared - this has resulted in a very long article, even by my standards, but there's a summary for those who want to jump straight to the conclusion.
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Grimm MU1 premium
After countless Music Servers and Streamers, not to mention various server software and playback applications that I have tried throughout the years, I figured that, by now, surely, there'd be no more large surprises for me. Well, of course, that's when a new server entered my premises and totally surprised me.
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Nagaoka MP-150 premium
In this Mini-Review, I will be looking at the MP-150's performance using three tonearms and three Avid turntables.
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Mola-Mola Tambaqui premium
Originally available only as a two-board stack for use inside the Mola-Mola Makua preamp, the DAC with its special proprietary design is also available as a separate unit.
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14 April 2021
Phono Cartridge Stylus Shapes premium
Want to know all there is to know about phono cartridge stylus shapes? Look no further as this article has all the essential information all in one place. It dives into the similarities, differences and overlap, explains the aspect of Contact Area and the differences between Bonded and Nude diamonds, between a Round Shank and a Square Shank, and covers stylus longevity.
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Aequo Audio Stilla Active premium
After having reviewed the Hybrid (partially-active) Aequo Stilla, the model under review here concerns the fully active version. Whereas the hybrid Stilla still requires the use of an external amplifier, the fully-active Stilla contains internal amplifiers for all of its drivers, thus eliminating the cost and worry of using an external amplifier while freeing up extra space in the listening environment.  
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31 March 2021
CAT (Convergent Audio Technology) JL5 Black Path premium
The CAT JL5 promises the benefits of pure Triode Mode, combined with very large power reserves and the capability to drive pretty much any loudspeaker, including electrostatics.
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Vermeer Audio TWO premium
Vermeer Audio is a relatively new French company that was started by a group of technicians and passionate investors that have roots in another famous French company, Audio Aero. In its curvy enclosure, the TWO houses a streaming endpoint, a DAC, and an analog tube preamp, all of superb quality.
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27 March 2021
Audiocorner Company Visit premium
Audiocorner is a HiFi shop in Lutjebroek, the Netherlands, that specializes in Ayon audio equipment. I paid an afternoon visit to have a nice chat with owner Eric-Jan Horstman and listen to the all-Ayon showroom system.
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R.T.F.S. Ceiling Vane and Carreau premium
In this review, I will try the Ceiling Vanes in three different positions in two areas while applying the Carreau panel in a third area. If there's one thing that has become clear during my time with various R.T.F.S. products, it's that they have proven to be extremely effective. More effective than other foam or wool solutions that I have tried.
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Melody Action Ultra, MDA2, and Everest 211 premium
Established in 1999 in Australia by Mr Allen Wang and known primarily in Australia and Asia, Melody is now being distributed in the EU. As it turns out, these amplifiers are something special. The corporate headquarters, which comprises, among others, the R&D center (product design), is based in Australia. Later, in order to meet the growing market demands, the company decided to invest by building a factory in Shenzhen, which is located near the city of Hong Kong.
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NuPrime AMG-PRA with 2x AMG-STA power amplifier premium
In the initial NuPrime AMG review, I have focused mainly on the AMG-STA power amplifier. For this second installment, I have been sent a second AMG-STA power amplifier so that I can use a pair in mono-mode as well as an AMG-PRA analog preamplifier to round off the NuPrime system.
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Qobuz Hi-Res On-Demand Streaming Audio premium
After having given Qobuz a new chance, and having compared several of my self-ripped albums and tracks to the downloaded files and the streaming content available on Qobuz, I am happy to conclude that the quality of the service has improved so much to make the decision between local playback and streaming a non-issue.
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Classé Delta Stereo and Delta Pre premium
The third-generation Delta product line includes the STEREO amplifier, MONO amplifiers and the PRE preamplifier with built-in DAC and streamer, and conceptually based on the CP-800. Reviewed here are the preamp and stereo power amp.
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16 February 2021
Nieuwjaarsshow at PUUR audio, video & domotica premium
As a result of the ongoing lockdown and restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Robert and Daan of PUUR came up with a brilliant idea: to carry out a show for an audience limited to yours truly and with the intention for me to write a report so that readers can still get a nice impression of the show without having to leave their homes.
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10 February 2021
Mad Scientist Audio FCGD+ Digital Interlink premium
With the FCGD+, Mad Scientist has entered the true high-end level of digital cables. This cable is simply brilliant, and as it stands, the best digital coaxial cable that I’ve used.
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9 January 2021
Vermouth Audio Reference Phono Interlinks premium
The Vermouth Reference phono cable gets so much right, especially in the aspects that matter most for musical enjoyment, and at such a reasonable price, that I can only recommend it wholeheartedly.
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28 December 2020
NuPrime AGM STA stereo power amplifier premium
The AMG STA not only addresses all of the ST-10's weaker areas but actually raises the overall quality to such an extent that it comfortably positions itself among high-end competitors that cost multiples upon multiples.
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18 December 2020
Wolf von Langa SON premium
Hearing the Wolf von Lange Sons for the first time at Callas Audio immediately primed me for something special. But it wasn't until I had heard them in my own system that I truly and deeply understood the extent of their superlative performance.
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Manley Labs Jumbo Shrimp, Neo-Classic 300B and Snapper premium
From an American audio brand with a long history, one might expect a  stereotypical big and ballsy "American" sound. When talking about transistors this would be maybe something in line with the classic Krell or perhaps McIntosh sound and when talking about tubes, in general, a warm, rich and juicy-liquid sound. But just like modern Audio Research tube amplifiers do not have that kind of sound, neither do the Manley products that I have on visit for review. So, what do they sound like? Read on to find out!
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11 December 2020
Qln Prestige One premium
Being great communicators and musical omnivores, the Prestige Ones always put the music first with an energetic, vibrant and involving rendition of anything that you play.
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1 December 2020
Monrio mp11 Mono Power Amplifiers premium
The Monrio mp11's have a luscious sound that is gently sweet and easy-going, airy, highly refined and beguilingly fluid. It's also nothing like what I have become accustomed to hearing from typical Class-D designs, or from Class A/B amplifiers, for that matter.
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23 November 2020
NuPrime ST-10M mono power amplifiers premium
With each of the two channels powered by its own transformer and extra capacitance, the available power has doubled. But if you ask me, the extra power is not the amplifiers' biggest selling point, rather, it's the increased sound quality across the board.
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20 November 2020
R.T.F.S. Sirrah – Part 2 premium
Not only will they work wonders in untreated rooms, but the SiRRAHs also provide substantial improvements in soundstaging, clarity and focus even in already well-balanced rooms.
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9 November 2020
Ultra High-End Show at PUUR audio, video & domotica premium
On November 12, 13, 14, and 15, PUUR audio, video & domotica will present an impressive system revolving around the Kroma top-of-the-line Elektra loudspeaker, driven by an all-Goldmund system consisting of the Mimesis 20H NextGen Reference DAC, the Mimesis 37S NextGen preamplifier and a pair of Telos 1000 NextGen mono power amplifiers.
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5 November 2020
Aqua LinQ Network Interface – Part 2 – HQPlayer Module premium
he addition of the HQPlayer module allows using Roon and all of its benefits along with even better sound than was possible using the now-discontinued RoonReady module. Additionally, Aqua's modularity ensures that the product remains up to date.
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30 October 2020
Vermouth Audio Black Pearl MkII and Rhapsody interlinks premium
Positioned underneath the Reference range are four more interlink models of which I will review two: the second most affordable Rhapsody and the second most advanced Black Pearl MkII.
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Aequo Audio Stilla premium
While sleek and elegant in appearance, these are not lifestyle products but seriously high-end speakers that tick all the audiophile parameter boxes. All it takes is a single demo to understand their brilliance.
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11 October 2020
Vermouth Audio Reference USB premium
Naturally, one cannot extrapolate the sound of analog cables onto a USB cable but given earlier experience with Vermouth's interlinks, I have high expectations for the company's new USB cable.
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Antipodes K50 Music Server premium
Having reviewed several Antipodes Music Servers and having owned the CX and EX for close to two years as my references, I was excited to hear of the OLADRA project and even more so the arrival of an all-new range with the K50 as the King of the Hill.
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23 September 2020
atm-audio EPM-700 class-D power amplifier with Korg Nutube triode input buffer premium
Machined from solid aluminum, the EPM-700 Mono amplifiers employ hybrid amplification technology using a Class-D Hypex NC500 module with Ncore technology powered by a 1200W switched-mode power supply and a Korg NuTube Triode Valve-based atm-audio input stage.
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11 September 2020
Xavian Premio Esclusivo premium
The Premio Esclusivo is a superbly natural-sounding speaker that always brings the maximum in engagement.
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18 August 2020
Mad Scientist Audio Nitro Nano power cable premium
The Nitro power cable replaces the NEO and NEO-OCC models and although it looks very similar to the older NEO, the internal differences have resulted in a much-improved performance.
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Origin Live Turntable Record Weight premium
When Origin Live issues a Record Weight you can be sure that it will be very different from the competition. While counting at least 9 layers of various combined materials that are all interconnected in a cleverly loosely-coupled manner using nylon screws it's obvious that this product is unlike any other Record Weight.
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